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NGO Futures: Resources

NGO Futures

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A focused look at the work in front of current nonprofit boards.



Reports on Current Trends

Global Catastrophic Risks 2018, Global Challenges Foundation, published September 2018

This report is a comprehensive assessment focusing on environmental degradation and politically motivated violence. The report examines how these two issues are connected to poverty and increasing population growth.

Global Risks Report 2018, World Economic Forum, published January 2018

The Global Risks Report 2018 completes more than a decade of highlighting the most significant long-term risks worldwide, drawing on the perspectives of experts and global decision-makers. The Global Risks Report is published annually.

The Future of Aid, INGOs in 2030, IARAN/Action Against Hunger, published July 2017

An analytic framework intended for humanitarian organizations to use in their strategic planning for the years ahead. The report explores the drivers of change in the humanitarian ecosystem and suggests solutions for organizations ready to rise to the challenge.

The Future of Humanitarian Response, World Economic Forum, published February 2017

The report aims to advance public-private collaboration in the humanitarian space, presenting outcomes from the World Economic Forum Annual meeting 2017. The policy recommendations in the report present novel solutions for challenges to humanitarian action in the future.

Global Trends Report: Paradox of Progress, US National Intelligence Council, published January 2017

This year’s report focuses on how the changing nature of power is “increasing stress both within countries, and bearing on vexing transnational issues. Published every four years by the United States National Intelligence Council, the Global Trends Reports are the result of a major assessment of the forces and choices shaping the world over the next two decades. The report presents scenarios to imagine how key uncertainties might result in different futures. The Global Trends Report is published every four years.

Planning From the Future, King’s College London, the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University and the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute, published November 2016

The Planning from the Future project is intended to provide a guide for those responsible for dealing with ever more complex future humanitarian crises. It is the output of an 18-month study.

Exploring the Future: Scanning the Horizon Findings 2016, International Civil Society Center, published October 2016

Exploring the Future presents the findings of the civil society foresight platform Scanning the Horizon. In 2016, the first year of collaboration, members identified 12 trends of global scope that will significantly affect and shape civil society organizations and their fields of work over the next decades.

Future Agenda

Future Agenda is a not-for-profit program that brings together views on the big issues and emerging challenges of the next decade. This website gathers insights and supporting material gained from discussions held around the world in 2015 with from leading individuals and organizations.

Four Scenarios for the Future of Civil Society, World Economic Forum, published August 2015

This report examines critical driving forces reshaping the future context of civil society and reflects on how these forces will help to reshape relations between civil society, business and governments, examines who will take on a greater role in addressing societal changes and considers their relationship with the other stakeholders.

Tomorrow’s World, Bond, published February 2015

This discussion paper provides an overview of factors that are likely to inform how our world changes between now and 2025. In it Bond identifies seven "megatrends" and considers their implications for civil society and the operating context within which international development NGOs work. Finally they identify some key roles that UK-based INGOs can play that are distinctive, needed and relevant in contributing to addressing development goals.

Global Strategic Trends - Out to 2045, 5th Edition, Strategic Trends Programme, UK Ministry of Defence, published June 2014

Global Strategic Trends is a report organized by scenarios, shocks, alternatives, and outcomes and is meant to inform policy-makers, planners, and capability-developers. The report focuses on sharing a strategic context to identify the long-term threats and opportunities up to the year 2045.

Do you have a recommended resource? Please do share - dwillig@interaction.org and mfox@interaction.org.


Peer Initiatives

Civil society organizations around the world see our rapidly changing world and are collaborating to expedite and strengthen sector agility.

International Civil Society Centre – Scanning the Horizon Initiative

The Berlin-headquartered International Civil Society Center leads Scanning the Horizon, a foresight platform for the international civil society sector. The initiative aims to help civil society organizations prepare for disruption and reap the benefits of change by bringing together futurists, strategists and trend analysts to build a community of experts and practitioners in strategic foresight. InterAction is a participant in this initiative.

BOND – FutureFit

London-based international development network Bond leads FutureFit, a program that helps NGOs to adapt to the new policy, operating, and funding environments. Supported by the Department for International Development, the program enables NGOs to respond to new challenges and boost their impact.

FutureFit spans a range of events, resources and training, including leadership sessions, business model innovation training, and Brexit resources.